Swami has been down the path

Life’s paths take you down different roads and directions, before you find out where life will take you. Swami in his formative years, was asked what were his goals, but being a very private person never answered the question. He set goals for himself after high school, get a college education, good job after which, marry and have children. There were more than a few diversions before attaining his four goals, but he did accomplish them.

A high school football player can take the same road, from freshman to senior, that player can and will play different positions over that period. Nothing is set in stone when playing football, for if it is, life would be way too easy. Even the All-Knowing-One is still going down the road challenging himself to new goals, at his stage of life.

SAULT STE. MARIE (1-0) at ALPENA (0-1) – Friday – Opening games are just that you never know what to expect. For the Wildcats it was the worst of scenarios, mistakes on both sides of the ball sealed Alpena’s fate. Give Escanaba a lot of credit, Swami says they have a veteran team.

The Wildcats did have bright spots among the doom, particularly in the back field as the duo of Eli Winters and Jordan Schultz. Schultz broke free for 150 yards on 19 carries, in addition to a score, while Winter was close behind with 147, accounting for the Wildcats other score. Ryan Voltz making his first start at quarterback was able to complete six of 14 attempts. The passing game was a missing part of Alpena’s game over the last three seasons. Swami says with repetition the accuracy will come, and so will the completions to his new team mates.

Sault Ste. Marie opened the season with a dramatic 22-16 win over Cheboygan. It was the balance of the run and pass that propelled the Blue Devils to three touchdowns, in addition to converting a two point attempt. Cheboygan had one last attempt to pull out the win, but were turned away.

Swami says this game will be a battle of two young teams. There is no better way, to christen the new astro turf, with a game of this magnitude. The All-Knowing-One says the Wildcats definitely need this win, being down 0-2, with the most difficult part of the season to come, will not bode well for Alpena. The Wildcats need to overcome the nervousness that was present in the opener. The defense played up to their potential after two miscues gave to Eskymos a two score lead. The All-Knowing-One has seen the Wildcat ground attack, is just that, attacking the weaknesses of the opposition.

With that in mind, Swami feels the Wildcats will be able to move the ball on the youthful front line of the Blue Devils. Add in breaking a pass play or two, will breakdown the Soo. It will be an enjoyable opening night on the new field of Wildcat Stadium

Swami Sez: Alpena 18, Sault Ste. Marie 13.

GAYLORD ST. MARY (1-0) at MIO (1-0) – Friday – It is the battle of the senior laden Gaylord St. Marys vs. the upstart Mio Thunderbolts. Not only has Mio switched to 8-man football, but gained their first victory in 24 attempts against a good Mesick team. Senior River Waisanen made the most of his six receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns capping off the win. Veteran quarterback Breden DeFlorio did an excellent job of mixing up the pass with the run, something the Thunderbolts had not been able to do over their previous 23 starts.

Meanwhile, Gaylord St. Marys had a very easy task in downing Manistee Catholic. Alex Pudvan kicked the Blue Devils to the win, converting on 10 of 11 extra point attempts. The Snowbirds played everyone in an exclusive ground game to the lopsided win. Brady Hunter rushed only three times in picking up 118 yards and two touchdowns, while Christopher Koscielniak touched the pigskin seven times for 142 and three rushing TD’s. Not only the offense was the high light of the night, but the attacking defense held Catholic to a minus 11 yards in offense.

The Thunderbolts were hoping to build on their early season success, Swami says it may come to end very abruptly. He feels with the talent the Snowbirds have, they could any of the seniors on the field and hold the opposition at bay. The Thunderbolts truly did have success against Mesick through the air, while having an accompanying ground game. The All-Knowing-One fears Mio may have to rely exclusively on an air attack, because of the rush being stopped in the backfield. With that in mind, the Snowbirds will be sitting and waiting for a pick off. Swami feels the Snowbirds have the advantage on both sides of the ball, and the Thunderbolts momentum will be unplugged very early.

Swami Sez: Gaylord St. Mary’s 56, Mio 8.

OSCODA (1-0) at COLEMAN (1-0) – Friday – Last Friday Oscoda turn the tables on Houghton Lake 14-12 in their opener. The previous year it was the Bobcats, who enjoyed the fruits of victory. It was the Owls defense that came to place, with enough offense to hang on. The Owls had pressure on the Bobcats from the opening whistle, recording six sacks, Houghton Lakes pass offense was non existent. The Owls offense primarily came from the ground as quarter back Brayden Mallak and half back Andy Dault powered his way into the end zone for all the points Oscoda would need to hang on for the win.

Coleman had to overcome a 16 point second half deficit against Farwell for the win. The Comets went to quarterback Tyler Germain for their offense to pull out the win, a 21 yard strike to Austin Lumbert sealed the deal. Conner Schrank put the first two touchdowns on the board for Coleman to pull them even. On the night, Germain completed 14 of 22 for 198 yards, with the majority of the yardage coming in the final two quarters. Swami feels the Owls will have to put their pass rush in high gear once more, as the Comets did very little on the ground. Jaden Bovee also is a favorite receiver hauling in six passes.

The All-Knowing-One feels for the Owls to be competitive on offense they have to be aware of the positioning of Bryce Middleton and Truett Allen. Both kept the Bobcats’ rushing offense down to a minimum with double digit tackles each. Swami felt the Owls made mistakes, that could have cost them the game, but rose to the occasion to overcome them. These are players that will get better as time goes on.

Swami is just wondering if the Owls will not have to come up with some more last minute heroics. He feels Coleman will be a true test as to how the rest of the season will play on out.

Swami Sez: Oscoda 24, Coleman 21.

ATLANTA (1-0) at AU GRES (0-1) – Friday – Judging by last year’s records, there is something wrong here. Atlanta struggled with every team last year, while AuGres breezed through. The Huskies reversal of last season came at the hands of Charlton Heston, 44-20. The combination of a strong offense and defense is what coach Troy Cheedie was looking for and found in the opener. Quarterback Aaron Cuzzort accounted for five touchdowns, Trace Juergens added two. The Husky defense stepped up in the second half holding the Patriots scoreless. Cuzzort was 10 of 16 through the air, including a TD pass to Juergens. Cuzzort ate up the Patriots defense rushing for 215 yards. Likewise, the Huskies had stars on defense, Dalton Forrester with 11 tackles, in addition to Steven Bilski, Gage Cheedie and Cuzzort with seven.

Conference wise, AuGres was to be the team everyone would be chasing for the top spot, having an abundance of talent. Hale was the first team to prove that point was mute, downing them 30-0. Quarterback Issiah Thomas attempted to carry the Wolverines by his legs, rushing the ball a total of 38 times, gaining 176 yards. Hale did an excellent job of holding his teammates in check and scoreless. The Wolverines couldn’t sustain drives of any length, let alone get anything getting anything going through the air. Swami had also thought this was the team to beat, as the Wolverines defense was rock solid and they had more than an adequate rush and passing game. Hale might have taken the decisive edge off, but that doesn’t mean they can not run the table from here on out.

Was it that the Wolverines were overconfident or did the Huskies play above their capability? Swami figures the true teams will show up for this game.

Swami Sez: AuGres 37, Atlanta 20.